Monuments of our Past

StonehengeFrom the moment I walked into my office early this morning, I felt as though I was on the fast track of keeping my scheduled appointments without being late in spite of the above normal interruptions and additional walk-ins. I was somewhat proud of myself for having only been eight minutes late for an afternoon listing appointment due to an extended phone conversation with a customer.

Having been in the country more these past days than normal, I began noticing buildings that had once been used as milking barns standing empty and in a great need of repair, as well as silos used to store silage standing without their domed roofs, and small galvanized grain bins tipping off their foundations, and many other structures that were once built to serve a family farm’s purpose and constructed to last generations. With the exodus of small farmers from the landscape of Iowa farms due either to children not willing to continue working the family farm, or more likely being forced out of the family business through the fierce competition of the corporate farmers who always seemed to have the edge over them simply due to the thiner margins of profit supported by the sheer scale of their operations.

We find it today even here in our city where smaller factories were either out-sourced to another country due to the cheap labor that could be had, or being closed completely because of newer, bigger, and more cost efficient factories in other cities and states. It makes a person a bit sad sometimes considering the pride in workmanship many of those people had in their jobs. From the local farmer bringing the best open range hogs to market, to the local foundry turning out precision cast iron materials, and the downtown tailors and seamstresses turning out made to fit and last clothing for customers who preferred the best. I wore a 100% American made jacket for the first time today and received three compliments. I simply said, “It was made in America; that’s why you like it.”

I took a photo this evening of the Briarstone Drive “stonehenge” private park area that is located next to the absolutely best built home I have listed at 760 Briarstone Drive. Most people don’t know that those concrete and brick monuments are part of the remnants of the Mason City Brick and Tile Plant. Briarstone Lake is actually where they extracted clay to be transformed into bricks that were shipped throughout the country.

I thought it fitting to place this photo of the monuments as a reminder that we must work to keep America working. We don’t need anymore empty factories to turn into the monuments of our past greatness.

Joe Chodur

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